Traumatic brain injury

The Center for Disease Control reports that over 1.7 million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries each year. In addition to the lengthy recovery for many who suffer a traumatic brain injury, there is potential for epilepsy to occur months and even years later.

Several animal studies have investigated the effect of ketone bodies in traumatic brain injured rats. A state of ketosis from either fasting or provided by a ketogenic diet has shown to improve recovery.

In direct contrast to the benefit of ketogenic diet on brain recovery is the negative effect of high-sugar, high-fat diets given to brain injured rats. The recovery in these rats was measurably worse.

Evidence that ketogenic diet therapy is neuro-protective and has an anti-inflammatory effect is reason to believe it may be beneficial for an injured brain.

Research in humans is desperately needed to confirm the animal data of ketogenic diet treatment for brain injuries and to explore other nutrients that have also shown benefit in animal studies such as omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, zinc, and magnesium.